Erol Atakan, Director of Ermataş, talks about details to pay attention for finishing products, from flooring to bathroom, from walls to kitchens, as one of the factors directly affecting the purchase of a property. Details are in our interview.
One of the most important factors in the purchase of residential property are the finishing products. There is a variety of them such as sanitary ware, floor coverings and fixtures. They are the details of a property, highlighting the quality of the construction to leave a remarkable impression. So how to choose from the sheer endless variety of products and what to consider during the selection?
We interviewed Erol Atakan, Director of Ermataş, an expert in the field, about those last touches playing an important role as a dealmaker or -breaker at the sale or purchase of a property.
Mr. Atakan explained the suitability of materials according to regions, and how important final architectural touches and tiny details are.
He talked about the vision of Ermataş leading into the future and emphasized on customer satisfaction as a priority. Details are in our interview.
You offer a variety of goods to you customers from flooring to baths; from wall dressing to kitchen sinks. Could you shortly describe Ermataş to our readers?
We have been established in 1983.
After a short while we set up our corporate structure and are developing it since. We have the ISO 9001 quality standards certification. I would very much recommend this to companies. This is an absolutely important issue.
In 1983 I started trading with construction steel and timber. Shortly after I became more interested in sanitary ware, fixtures, fittings and baths because they were not only functional but aesthetic products as well.
If you would use an excess of 200 kg cement at a construction of a house nobody would notice. The beauty of a house unfolds with the finishing material. Therefore, our field of work is pleasant but difficult at the same time. We have improved ourselves significantly and continue to do so.
We work with companies in Turkey as well as in Europe. To achieve highest level of customer satisfaction we choose companies which are known for their high standards and never compromise their quality.
As Ermataş, we consider ourselves more of a brand ambassador for companies we work with rather than a store just selling construction material. We educate our customers about the brands we are selling and we stand firmly behind them. We also provide aftersales services.
To provide this level of customer satisfaction we have teams on our payroll who engage in various fields of work like plumbing, carpentry etc. This is an obligation for us as a corporate company as well as a dedication to customer services.
Consumer rights are important for us and we always stand behind our product.
“The Circle of Price, Quality and Durability”
Do you serve individual clients primarily or do you also work with construction companies on project basis?
This is an important question. Basically we have 3 types of sales.
First of all, we sell products to shops as wholesale. We have a total of 104 clients of this sort where we are actively marketing our products. You will not find some of those products in our own shops as we only sell goods we can 100% guarantee for. Due to their origin sometimes we are not able to provide this guarantee, therefore we don’t prefer to sell them at our shops.
Secondly, we have 3 showrooms in Nicosia, Kyrenia and Famagusta for our retail business. We do serve our individual customers there. There is an interior designer at each of our showrooms supporting the client.
Then there are projects. Our commercial department is managing this part of the business. Projects of developers, universities, hospitals, hotels. This is the part we enjoy most.
We get caught up in the circle of price, beauty and durability. I admit it’s difficult, but it’s rewarding.
Preferences of Users are Volatile, It’s the Details That Matter”
What do the customers prefer to buy lately? Is quality more important or is it the price for residential projects for instance?
If you ask me what to pay attention to when buying a house or a car, there’s only one question. What do you need? Aesthetics and functionality are important factors when deciding.
If I have to commute a long distance daily, it would be better to buy an economic car. The same goes for a home. The needs should be the priority.
Construction is a whole different world. I’m in this sector since 1983. Basically there are 2 headlines. Functionality and beauty. In my opinion both are equally important. Therefore, the process can be difficult sometimes. I’ll give an example that you can apply to most of the products. You buy a beautiful fixture but it’s not functional. There one has to stop and think. Am I building a house or am I going to showcase this product in an exhibition? Or the fitting is beautiful and functional but lacks in quality. If you also consider the heat in our country, products are easily affected. When using products not resistant to thermal changes, they will lose their shape after a short time, hence the product should be chosen carefully by taking circumstances into consideration followed by functionality and aesthetics.
We take great care of this at Ermataş. Each region has its own characteristics of weather, temperature and humidity. These factors should be considered before the selection of an item.
At the end of the day, you cannot separate quality and affordability. You pay attention to both. I would also add functionality to that.
Contractors preferences differ. Some of them prioritize quality, others prefer cost saving. In my opinion contractors who are keen on quality are more successful. Those are the ones who have no difficulty in selling to foreigners.
“The Needs of a House by the Seaside and a House in the City Center Are Different”
Is there any difference with regard to types of residencies when choosing products or concepts? For instance, between apartments or villas? Or differences in areas like Kyrenia or Iskele?
Some of the contractor come to us and say that they are building a project for student accommodation. They have the cheapest products in mind. We advise them in buying something functional and durable. Saving on the product should not be on top of their list. A good quality product will not let you down.
Retail customers have different preferences. Owners of apartments or villas choose products according to their taste. They mostly pay attention to the quality and good looks. If owners plan to let the property they usually ask for cheap products.
Preferences between areas are also different. Products used at a house by the seaside are different from those chosen for a property in the town center. Environmental factors like sea salt or humidity dictate the selection. You cannot use gold gilded material at properties close to the sea. The salt will wear it out soon. In 3 months’ time you will ask to change it because it will start fading. We always advise them to choose the product appropriate for the location of the property. We also tell them about details which they might not have thought of, so they can enjoy their product for many years to come.
“Our Products Facilitate Sales of Homes”
You are involved in many stages of residential projects. Do you believe that your products contribute to the selling of the project?
Actually we believe that we are quite successful. We were involved in many successful projects and worked closely together with their developers and architects. There were projects which quickly sold out due to the products used.
Once there was a developer who came to us for a complaint. Our team fixed the fittings and when the construction was finished the cleaners came, removed the tags of the brand on the fittings and left. He was complaining because he wanted the tags to remain on the fixtures and sanitary ware so the 10 years’ guaranty and the name of the brand would be visible. It was a reassurance of quality for his customers. A fixture may be small but it’s one of the most important elements of a house. It may sound simple but it really is important. We contacted the producers and it was a long and tiring process until they provided us with tags again. Obviously they never heard such a request before and were cautious. Many things crossed their mind for sure. At the end we were able to stick the tags where they belonged and it was a proud moment for us.
Last but not least I can say that sales are easier with our products. Using well-known brands and brands acknowledged for their quality contributes a lot to the sale of a property. There is no difference in the attitude of local or foreign buyers when it comes to that.
Do you have any advice to developers starting a project or for those who are in the procedure of selecting products?
There are many details but allow me to give an example.
According to European standards tiles bigger than 33×33 cm cannot be produced as ceramic. The production needs to be porcelain. Some countries however produce big ceramic tiles and sell them to underdeveloped countries. Unfortunately, we are one of those. There are big tiles made of ceramic on the market here but they should be porcelain. Obviously they are cheap but are they durable? Does a big ceramic tile crack? Yes, most probably it will. This should be considered as a priority. We educate our customers in this regard.
Furthermore, they should allow their customers to choose. There is no argument when it comes to different tastes and colors. It is certainly a burden for contractors. But this is how it should be. This is about pleasure, about culture.
Do you have a message for readers of Kıbrıs Emlak Merkezi?
Kıbrıs Emlak Merkezi is an ethical and useful establishment as far as I researched. They are doing a very good job for consumers and people.
KIBRIS EMLAK MERKEZİ
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